Arteta optimistic about Auba injury, plays down Martinelli expectations


Mikel Arteta says Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is on the mend but the striker won’t be available for tomorrow’s Carabao Cup quarter-final with Manchester City.

Our club captain picked up a calf problem in training on Friday and sat out the defeat to Everton at Goodison Park.

It remains to be seen whether he recovers in time for the Boxing Day clash with Chelsea but the prognosis is sounding more positive than it did.

“Auba is feeling much better and he was more positive yesterday than in the previous two days,” reported Arteta on Monday morning.

“He will have another scan in the next few days and we will see how quickly we can get him back in the team.

“But we know how important he is for us and he feels that responsibility and he is trying his best to be back fit as quickly as possible. For the rest, I don’t think we’re going to have any news today before training.”

Given the hectic schedule, you’d expect some rotation but it’s unlikely Arteta will go to the same lengths seen in the Europa League. That said, Reiss Nelson, absent for three games, and youngster Folarin Balogun are in contention to make the squad.

“They’re a possibility,” said the boss when quizzed on the duo.

“Let’s see how the boys are today. Auba is not fit for tomorrow, that’s for sure. He won’t be playing tomorrow so we will see who is available because we have a few doubts as well in other positions. We want to get together a very competitive team because we know the level of City and we want to win the game tomorrow.”

Having featured off the bench at Goodison Park, it looks likely that Gabriel Martinelli will step up his return from knee surgery with further minutes tomorrow evening.

While it’s obviously a boost to have the Brazilian as an option, the boss played down expectations that the teenager can single-handedly help the Gunners out of our funk.

“We cannot put that pressure [of being the club’s ‘saviour] on his shoulders,” said the boss.

“It’s not fair for him. He brings that enthusiasm that the fans can see because he’s got something special, a special energy every time he steps on that field. But remember that Gabi, what he’s done in the Premier League the time that he’s been with us is very limited. Let him develop, like we are doing with many other young kids that we have here.”

On the pressure facing Martinelli, he added: “Yes [there is] but it’s the same with many other young players that are probably taking more responsibility than perhaps they should do in this moment.

“It’s the squad that we have at the moment and what we have to manage. They have to try to do their best but I don’t think it’s fair to put all the pressure on them now as well.”

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How we could do with a confidence boosting win and a good performance from some of the young lads to help push them into the premier league line-up, ahead of the usual suspects who have been missing lately. COYG

Post January Blip

Ever the optimist, Nuggz. Commendable but I can’t see Mikel using them as much as we’d like as fans. This was actually something I liked about Emery and I’m not sure Arteta sees things in the same way.

When reading his comments about players like ESR and Martinelli recently I just get the vibe that he’ll want to wrap up the younger guys in cotton wool.

The senior players are letting him down badly but it’ll ultimately be on his head of he thinks they’re going to magically turn things around.

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

Plus Wenger has always shown confidence in the young boys. He started Henry at age 17 at Monaco. It wasn’t just at Arsenal.
Henry used to tell our young players: “If the boss put you on the pitch, it is because he knows you can perform at this level. Do not be afraid.”


I get that cotton wool vibe from him too. While I can see some merit in not placing too much weight on someone like Nelson currently, we see Saka playing week out and week in and taking more responsibility than anybody else. I would argue that Martinelli has already had his breakthrough, and seems strong enough, that there’s little need to protect him. One of the decreasing glimmers of hope in Arteta I have from the Everton defeat was him bringing Martinelli on. Let the kid show what he’s capable of!


I think a lot of us have been saying that for several games now, but to no effect so far, unfortunately. The problem is that just as success breeds success, failure has the same habit and we’re in such a poor negative run that it’s going to be very difficult to break out of it (in a sustainable way that is – the draw against Southampton didn’t bring a better result afterwards). I agree though that we should try more of the youngsters – what have we to lose?

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

Maybe the same rule should apply to young managers too. Do not put a lot of pressure on them by giving them a job at a big club.
Hey people, doesn’t make sense?

Laca New Bendtner

Not that he’d be of any help if the team setup and selection remains what it is. Willian and Luiz were axed at Chelsea for a reason. There’s a good reason why Zizzou doesn’t fancy Ceballos.

I don’t see Arteta going into the new year as Arsenal manager. If he does then fuck the board and the wanky owner as well!


After they’ve gone all in with Arteta you can bet he’ll be there in 2021.

Better get used watching how the likes of Fullham, WBA, Shefield and Burnley fare in PL in next year because those are our main rivals.
That fact alone is for me enough to say ‘thanks for trying’ to Arteta.


There is a slight possibility that we could win this game considering the fact that – firstly, there will be no pressure of getting points on board like the EPL; secondly, City will have the dominant amount of possession which Mikel always likes so that he can hit on the counter; thirdly, City may not have the same kind of finishing prowess for this game; & lastly, Arteta has looked like a true Cup Manager until now. Hmmm..well I think I am being overly optimistic I guess, clutching onto quite a few straws, there. Life of a gooner I believe.


Unfortunately the overwhelming probability is that with much better players and manager, City will win. But there’s always a chance.

Eric Blair

Anyone care to make a list of which players have any kind of future at Arsenal?


Auba, Leno, Gabriel, Tierney, Partey, Martinelli.


Pepe, ESR, AMN, Nketiah, Willock, Saliba, Balogun, Bellerin, Holding, Chambers, Elneny, Nelson.

A lot of those maybes are very maybe. That’s barely half a squad there, if you need to know where the biggest problem at the club is, I think there’s your answer; player recruitment and retention.

Kentish Gooner

You forgot Saka in the ‘defos’ 🙂

Eric Blair

Oops! Quite right.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

My biggest worry is if we finish bottom half of the table, with no European football next season, then bigger clubs will be swarming around our most valuable assets. Arsenal have been a selling club for 15 years anyway. Partey, Tierney, and Martinelli I see as our 3 most valuable assets. Luckily all currently under long term contracts so it will take big money to prize them away.

Kentish Gooner

Saka is our most valuable asset; why do people keep forgetting him?! He’s been out standout player for the past two seasons!

Yep thankfully another valuable asset under a long term contract.


“…if we finish bottom half of the table”. That is already a certainty. The concern is relegation.


Good point. However i would also defo keep Saka, ESR, Saliba, Balogun and AMN heading into next season. Loan out Willock and Nelson.

The rest i would burn or beat.

Vincent Ives

Last point’s the root of it all, recruitment and contract negotiations – the latter of which are as bad as they’ve ever been, despite us being told not long ago that ‘no-one will enter their last year without a deal’. I cannot imagine any US sports ‘franchise’ (hate that word in this context) being run like this, so why Kronke’s UK operation aren’t on top of it is beyond me. When people constantly remind me ‘it’s not about the passion or the history for him, he’s a businessman, it’s a business’ I get it, but the amount of money we’ve… Read more »

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

Why Bellerin in the maybes? He particularly underperformed in times that let Wenger and Emery go and same is happening with Arteta now.


Pepe really has to go please….Send him on loan or sell him off and get Zaha.


He still offers offers far more than the totally overrated diving cheat Zaha


I stopped when I saw Leno. Our worst keeper since Almunia 🙈🙈🙈


You really do talk nonsense Martin. You’ve had it in for Leno since the day he joined & have a go every single chance you get……and yet you still cling to your opinion that Xhaka is one of the best DMs in the league ! Watch the odd game, it might help !


I’ve always said that playing Xhaka as a DM was wrong so I’m not sure where you get that from. I cannot remember the last match I missed so it’s easy for me to see what a poor keeper Leno is. Flaps at crosses, poor and slow ball distribution, no command of his area and totally undermines the defence by being so error prone. He’s cost us points this season and I’m afraid it will continue. Sadly Runarsson is even worse


‘He’s proved conclusively that he’s now a key player and is performing as well as he does for his country. To call him decent is insulting him.’

Maybe not specifically as a DM then.. . but very simple to find a lot of quotes rom you like this… your bias for/against certain players just embarrassing


I have no bias at all. I judge players the way I see them and Leno is performing poorly so why is it bias. I still maintain Xhaka was performing well as a deep lying midfielder and if you disagree with me could I say that you are biased.


It’s bias because your opinion has not budged, even when Leno has been brilliant. As an example, you desperately wanted Cech to play in the Europa final as you said he was our best keeper at the time. Based on performances, that clearly wasn’t even remotely true. (and turned out disastrously as Cech had a horror night) Xhaka is what he is. He has some strengths, and his form has been better at times than at others…..but he simply has too many flaws – even when playing ‘well’ by his own standards – to be a success for Arsenal as… Read more »


Cech was our no 1 keeper at the time and certainly superior to Ospina, so I can’t see where it wasn’t remotely true. In any case Cech was not remotely responsible for any of the goals. Stop showing your bias against him. I still think that Xhaka is far from our biggest problem and to constantly make him a scapegoat I think is grossly unfair.


You’re getting confused. Ospina wasn’t around by the time of the Europa final. Leno was our no.1 by then but Cech was playing the Europa games only.
He should have saved Giroud’s opener. Way too slow in getting down.

Vincent Ives

This shouldn’t be controversial: Almunia’s distribution was considerably better than Leno’s. Leno thankfully doesn’t come charging out of his goal inexplicably at inopportune moments, but I honestly don’t think there’s much between them overall. I wasn’t expecting Leno to start this season as number one, and I said that well before he got injured and we had the Emi Martinassiance. You won’t get near the top 4 in the modern day without a keeper who’s incredibly confident with their feet, and Leno doesn’t look any more composed than poor Petr Cech did in this situations. He’s a fine shot stopper… Read more »

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Carabao Cup currently represents our best chance of qualifying for European football for next season. Two games away from the final. I’d rate this game as more important than the Chelsea game on Boxing Day. League season is dead rubber now. We won’t get relegated but won’t finish top 7 either barring a Unai Emery style 22 game unbeaten run.

Announce Bendtner

Eben that run seems a long long time ago.


Auba ain’t injured. |it was obvious by how vague Mikel was regarding the issue post Everton.

I reckon he’s struggling under the weight on captaincy during a crisis. Add in the fact that nobody’s feeding him in front of goal and you have one unhappy skipper.


Maybe Arteta should try going with a classis 4-4-2. That way he could play auba and laca together, auba more to the left as he prefers it. Then he can play either Pepe or William on the right, and Šaka or martineli on the left. I know auba is injured but maybe for the next games. Then again, not sure if the problem is with the formation…


Please perish the thought with respect to pepe. That dude is finished. Anyone else asides him please.!!


Totally agree with 442 formation. I think that we rely too much on Tierney/Bellerin pushing forward which just creates big spaces behind them which opponents can hit with one long ball. Keep the defenders defending more and you only need a Partey in front of them and other midfielders can push forward using full width. Forwards can then make runs into box or pull out leaving space for midfielders to attack. Top teams now do full press at halfway line and attack in numbers as soon as they have ball back – that means forgetting Xhaka and anyone else whose… Read more »


I like the idea, and also wonder if formation would make a difference, but it seems a more straightforward and less complicated way to organize. I’d put AMN as my first choice right winger (or right back); we need his energy right now.


Partey injury has been a big blow. He would have given confidence to players around him. Would still be lacking creativity but still

Merlin's Panini

Dear Arsenal

For Christmas I would like you to win a fucking game of football.

That’s all I want.